Birdwalk Highlights for 9/17: Sandy Point Beach, Yarmouth.

That was fun!

With a massive movement of migrants overnight, the "Morning Flight" was in full swing come sunrise. It was still going strong when Jeannette delivered the group to Sandy Point by about 8:25. There, the tail end of the flight was still going, with more birds settling down to forage in the trees.

After a little "morning flight" primer, we observed birds crossing the channel. While my final tally was over 3,000 birds this morning, our small birdwalk sample was led by 63 NORTHERN PARULAS, 19 AMERICAN REDSTARTS, and 17 NORTHERN FLICKERS - which were the top three identified species during my count period as well.

Birds overhead plus birds in the bushes, and especially the oaks and goldenrod of Camp Soci included a nice roster of the day's migrants. Our two TENNESSEE WARBLER and at least 3 SWAINSON'S THRUSHES put on particularly good shows for us. Many of the other tallies included both birds zipping overhead, and better looks of birds foraging here and there, including: 10 BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS, 9 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, 6 RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, 6 COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, 5 MAGNOLIA WARBLERS, 5 RED-EYED VIREOS, 4 CEDAR WAXWINGS, 3 EASTERN PHOEBES, 3 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, 3 PURPLE FINCHES, 2 SWAMP SPARROWS, 2 YELLOW WARBLERS, 2 CHIPPING SPARROWS, and one each of NASHVILLE WARBLER, BLUE-HEADED VIREO, PALM WARBLER, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, AMERICAN KESTREL, SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, VEERY, our first WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW of the fall, and DARK-EYED JUNCO.

Meanwhile, a large feeding frenzy offshore included 300 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, 50 RING-BILLED GULLS, 30 HERRING GULLS, and 20 LAUGHING GULLS. Over 100 COMMON EIDERS looked on.

SONG SPARROWS (10+) and GRAY CATBIRDS (15+) were common in the brush, and we tallied a variety of resident birds as well.

But the icing on the cake were the two massive kettles of BROAD-WINGED HAWKS (64 in one group, first spotted by Angela, and about 100 in the second group) that were soaring high overhead as we returned to the cars.

That suggested we should hawkwatch outside the store upon our return, which we did. Meanwhile, the complete flight count from Sandy Point this morning will be posted to the store's Facebook page later today.

It was a great day of vismig!!!!

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